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Heritage Soccer Club holds its very first “Winter Cup” championship game

LANSING, Ill. (March 5, 2024) – Heritage Middle School’s Soccer Club hosted its first winter cup championship game in the school’s gymnasium on February 28 from 3–4 p.m. The club was discontinued in 2020 due to the pandemic but it returned in the fall of last year.

Origins of the Heritage Soccer Club

Club sponsors Raul Torres and Andris Sprudzs modeled the “Heritage Winter Cup” after the famous FIFA World Cup. (Photo: Kinise Jordan)

The Heritage Soccer Club, also known as Heritage Fútbol Club, was started in 2018 by Mr. Raul Torres, the eighth grade Spanish teacher at the school.

Torres started the club due to the lack of sports offered to the male students. The only sports offered at the school were boy’s track and basketball before he sponsored the soccer club.

Mr. Andris Sprudzs, the sixth grade social studies teacher at Heritage, joined Torres as a club sponsor and coach last fall.

“It has evolved into a legitimate intramural sports program,” said Sprudzs. “Similar to what you may see in high schools and colleges.”

Although the team currently consists of all males, Sprudzs says female students are welcome to sign up as well.

Inaugural Heritage Cup

Four teams that consisted of over 30 students competed in a round-robin tournament at the beginning of the season for a chance to move on to the “Heritage Winter Cup” championship game. (Photo: Kinise Jordan)

Over 30 students signed up for the club at the beginning of the season. Torres and Sprudzs saw this as a good opportunity to organize an inaugural “Heritage Cup” tournament.

“In this tournament, students were split into multiple teams, and played a round-robin tournament that was modeled after major soccer tournaments such as the World Cup,” said Sprudzs.

The kids loved it so much that we decided to organize a “Heritage Winter Cup,” he continued.

The Airways FC and Nationals FC competed in the “Heritage Winter Cup” on February 28. (Photo: Kinise Jordan)

Two out of the four teams won the chance to compete against one another in the championship game, known as the “Heritage Winter Cup.”

2024 Heritage Winter Cup

The “Heritage Winter Cup” championship game lasted 28 minutes, split into two 14-minute halves. (Photo: Kinise Jordan)

The Airways FC and Nationals FC competed against each other for the chance to take home the first “Heritage Winter Cup” trophy.

The evening began with the players warming up and doing drills. Once the official game began, the atmosphere was lively and exciting as spectators cheered for the players.

The second half of the game was touch-and-go as the two teams played hard to see who would come out victorious. (Photo: Kinise Jordan)

The game was split into two 14-minute halves. The first half ended with a score of 4-0.

The Airways FC jumped for joy when the final buzzer went off and they won 6-0. (Photo: Kinise Jordan)

Meet the winners

The winning team Airways FC posed for pictures after winning their first “Heritage Winter Cup.” (Photo: Kinise Jordan)

The Airways FC team won the championship game with a score of 6-0.

The Airways FC celebrated their win by holding their championship trophy high up in the air. (Photo: Kinise Jordan)

The team was presented with a trophy and each player received a gold medal for their participation. Sprudzs says the team’s name will be engraved on the trophy before going on display.

Mr. Torres presented each player on the winning team with a gold medal for their participation. (Photo: Kinise Jordan)

“The kids do a good job, and they really enjoy themselves,” Sprudzs said.

Mr. Sprudzs (second from left) and Mr. Torres (far right) are pictured with the winning team of the Heritage Soccer Club’s “Heritage Winter Cup.” (Photo: Kinise Jordan)

Game highlights from the Heritage Winter Cup can be found on Heritage Fútbol’s Instagram page. Heritage Middle School is located at 19250 Burnham Ave in Lansing.

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Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan brings local experience and a long list of journalism skills to her work with The Lansing Journal. She understands the need for reliable, factual information in equipping people to build community. An Audio News internship with WBEZ honed her interviewing skills and her sense of timing and deadlines. A native of Calumet City, Kinise is familiar with the interplay of local government, local schools, and local businesses.